My daughter and I have struggled with our relationship ever since she became a teenager. My son, who is 5 years older got mixed up with drugs in high school and got severely addicted, resulting in my husband and I taking in his baby girl in 2015. We did our best to "compensate" for our daughter in the situation and NEVER imposed babysitting on her! (she was just finishing her senior year in HS when we got our granddaughter). We knew she already had resentment so were very careful about that. She met a man while waiting tables....he waited for her to have her 18th birthday and took her on their first date the next night (we took her out on her actual birthday). It was a long time before we knew about their relationship....we weren't pleased....she had at the last minute decided not to go away to college and instead stay home and go to Community College. When she was 20 they broke the news that she was pregnant. She quickly moved in with him, continued school, but was breaking away from not only us but her friends as well. He started to isolate her, we only saw her when he was at work, never see them together. We made her promise, no wedding until she has her degree..she was on track for nursing school. They promised, next thing we know she has a ring and they are planning a wedding for May, when she was supposed to finish her Associates degree and he would finish his as well for his job at the local electric company. I told my husband I DID NOT want to pay for this wedding. He has always indulged her. He did not back me so a wedding was being planned. I could not get enthusiastic about it so my daughter found another reason to resent me...I was not happy for her yet his family (he's 9 years older than her) was thrilled. At one point I told her, if the situation was reversed and it was their 20 year old daughter they would feel the same! Come time for delivery..they announce they want no one in the delivery room.....OK....I don't like it, but what can I do. So she's going to be induced....I show up at 8 a.m....and sit in the waiting room ALL DAY! I understand you don't want anyone there when she is born...but I can come in and give you a hug and let you know I'm there during the long waiting hours! NOPE! I sat there until 5 p.m.....he didn't even step out and tell me how things were going...I just got the "group texts" he was sending to his family...like I wasn't even there. Come to find out my daughter didn't know I was there!!!! So now here we are....we paid for this expensive wedding....I was treated HORRIBLY the day of the wedding...my husband had his "father of the bride toast" all prepared and was never given the opportunity to give it...until after the reception is almost over, they approach him and let the photographer video him giving it in a corner in the reception hall......then she comes home from the honeymoon and says that I'm toxic and she wants no more to do with me....yet they still want to move into our rent house! I am furious and want to keep her at a very long arm's distance...my husband is not on the same page...says he's hurt and mad, but I can tell he will do whatever he can to keep her in his life...he's giving in to the emotional blackmail. Oh! And before I end....our son came to us (he came back to our state after being gone over 5 years and is now clean and trying to rebuild his life) that they asked him "are you satisfied with the way mom and dad are raising your daughter?" For me....that was THE LAST STRAW!! He told us that is why he stays away from them......I am so hurt, so mad....I can't believe my own daughter would treat me this way!!!! Thanks for listening.......
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I had a long discussion with my YS about parenting and its pitfalls. I told him that he was going to be a great Dad when he decided to have kids but then I followed it with this caveat....when your son/daughter gets to be a teenager they are going to think you are really stupid. It is part of growing up, it is implanted in their genes to make them leave the pack and strike out on their own. It is a very difficult thing to live through both as the parent and as the child. I watch the baby birds this time of year follow their parents around hounding them for food. It is like the parents cannot eat without the babies being right next to them with their mouths open and their little wings fluttering making the parent feel guilty about every morsel they keep for themselves. Of course eventually the parent gets sick of it and flies off and never looks back. They eventually have no choice but nature planned it that way. It is all a part of life.
My eldest pulled away big time and it hurt me so bad that I thought I would die. He married a girl we did not approve of and had two children (who are awesome!). It has been years since the wedding. Years filled with anguish, resentment, hopelessness and finally acceptance. The truth is that he has the right to pick his wife and live his life and I have no right to stop him. My parenting days are over but his are just beginning. Years ago I stopped trying to 'fix' things and just let the chips fall where they may. Eventually he noticed that I was no longer knocking at his door and begging to be let in and he started making his own moves toward reconciliation. It has worked out well for me but I have to be honest.....when I gave up I really gave up. Whether he came back to us or not did not matter as much as the fact that I needed to retain my dignity and I needed to attend to my marriage (which was sorely hurt by my constant attempts to fix things).
I take the fact that your eldest is on your side to be a true plus. Remember that what you focus on expands and focus on your eldest and your GC and your DH. Go out there and enjoy your golden years!!